Marketing a business is all about getting your name out there, and unfortunately this means that many businesses employ the spammiest of tactics to be seen. If you’re not well versed in what marketing tactics work and which do not, it’s easy to assume that you should go in with all guns blazing and push your message by any means necessary. But of course, this isn’t true, and often does more harm than good.
An aggressive marketing approach will make your business look desperate, amateurish and generally put people off. Your marketing needs to be more subtle, and your strategies need to be properly thought out and planned in advance. Marketing methods need to be based on tested research, to ensure you’re appealing to people in the right way.
Flashing banner ads and other intrusive methods were once commonplace online, but times have changed. Just the thought of a flashing banner ad makes me cringe! People use ad blockers, and have even developed ‘banner blindness’ on those that are still used. I am not the only consumer who completely ignores banners.
People take their online security seriously (check out Borgata online privacy to find out more), and they won’t just shop from anywhere. With this in mind, it is important to use marketing strategies that appeal to your audience, and come off as genuine and beneficial. Here are some examples of less pushy but incredibly effective ways to market a business.
Don’t Be Pushy: Three Effective Marketing Strategies That Won’t Annoy Your Audience
1. Content Marketing
At its core, content marketing involves creating interesting content. This shouldn’t be directly promotional, but instead is linked with what you’re selling.
For example, if you were selling garden sheds, you wouldn’t write content about why garden sheds are wonderful and everyone should own one. Instead, you’d write about gardens in general, with a mention and link to garden sheds that people can check out to support the content. This is effective, as people don’t feel as though they’re reading an ad. Instead you’re providing them with valuable information that they’d want to read anyway.
You can publish articles like this on your own blog, or guest post for other bloggers in your field. People do not want ads and offers shoved down their throat, they want content that offers something of value to them. This is why content marketing is so effective. It’s not designed to push an ad or product but generates interest around a topic. Then people can choose to click on the links to products or further information if they want to.
Content marketing is something every business should be doing, no matter what products and services are being sold. Today’s consumer does not want to be “sold” to – yesterday’s tactics of push marketing not work. Therefore, content marketing is often the basis of every piece of marketing – provide value, explain usage and benefits, and allow the consumer to make an informed decision as to what to buy.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media should never be used as a platform for making a hard sell. If you’re using it this way, you’ll be putting off your followers and could be causing more harm than good. Social media should be used for connecting with your audience, and for generating buzz and interest around your brand.
So how can you accomplish this? Chat with people, share customer photos and reviews, and run competitions. In other words, get people interested in what you do.
Of course, you’ll want to have clear links to your shop and photos of your products. However, these should be there for customers to check out if they wish, rather than commenting on every post saying ‘come and buy our stuff!” or words to that extent. I know you’ve seen this kind of marketing. Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes those social media posts!
3. Email Newsletters
Email newsletters get a bit of a bad rep since many companies can do them badly. Mass emails sent out to contact lists that have been purchased rather than acquired properly means a lot of email marketing is simply spam.
But done right, newsletters can be your friend. Email marketing is a permission-based marketing method. Emails should only be sent to customers who have given their email and signed up themselves, or signed up to your site by purchasing items or showing interest. From there, you should employ the principles of content marketing when creating your newsletters. They shouldn’t be completely promotional, and again offer something to the reader, such as information or humor.
When sending out regular email campaigns, you will serve to educate your audience, provide insights on trends within your niche, and get them excited about opening and clicking through each message. It doesn’t matter what the goal of the email campaign may be, you still have to provide content that compels the subscriber to open, read and click through. It is a privilege to receive a consumer’s permission to show up in their inbox, and you should never take the privilege for granted.
Bottom Line: What’s In it For Me?
Effective marketing strategies are those which pull the customer into the conversation and decision-making process. The goal is to become a brand that operates with the consumer front and center. When developing marketing initiatives, it is important to remember WIIFM.
Today’s customer is a savvy one, and greets every marketing message with a single thought: what’s in it for me? Therefore, your marketing messages should be crafted to answer this single question, every time.